by Uwe Marx | Nov.
- In former days, you have been moving between musical categories in my eyes: Too underground for Pop – Too Pop for Underground. Do you agree?
Jana: I can totally understand if you feel that way. And I quite like the idea, to be honest. I absolutely want us to be some purist’s guilty pleasure listening, he he. We made stuff that can be labeled as ebm, synth pop, darkwave, industrial or whatever but these tags were mostly added by others afterwards. We made the kind of music we liked and never thought about genres or target audiences. And we’d say that we make music to make you feel, think and move – not necessarily in this order.
- Why did you stop in 1995? October 13, 1995 anything special happened on that day?
Jana: It was our 10th birthday so it seemed like a logical time to stop. A ten-year mission, that’s twice the time original USS Enterprise got in Star Trek.
- Or was it “just” the classical way, that you were not successful enough to spent a living? That you were disapointed about the situation?
Jana: We seemed to be running out of both time and energy. It was smarter to quit while it was still fun. We were planning a big farewell gig with old AA members and all but eventually could not get it arranged – that’s nature’s way of telling us to let go I suppose.
Family and Job and stuff?
Jana: Got them, yes.
- For me AA were in a way typical – When you where active nobody seems to care about. Years after the split some crazy collectors and DJs were really enthusiastic about your stuff. When did you realise, that there are fans outside?
Jana: I like many bands that do not exist anymore, and it seems others do too, he he. Back in the day we were surprised to have so many enthusiastic people around the world from Japan to Brazil to USA contacting us thru the good old snail mail. Obviously the net revealed to us that there were still people out there who liked what we had done. Which is nice, of course.
- After years of silence, there are two big releases see the light of the day. It’s all about 30 years of AA obviously. But when did you thought about first to release the old stuff again? Any other birthday activities planned?
Jana: Well we planned a 20 years anniversary collection and a 25 years one too… Perhaps we’re just lazy bastards. I’m glad there were people to push the idea forward so that we finally got this done. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a major birthday tour, though.
Obviously EK Product publishes this great Double-CD because there is a contact to IMPAKT! I guess. But Artoffact from Canada – How did they get in contact with you? Are there fans in Canada?
Jana: We talked with several labels about re-releasing stuff. I suppose we’ve always felt more comfortable working with people we know and have a good feeling about. The EKP connection obviously came in thru Impakt! releases as you said; Vince has worked with them and was happy with the way they handled things. Artoffact on the other hand has a huge one-man branch in Finland. They were interested in releasing our stuff, we met through a mutual friend, and felt like we want to work with these guys.
- In the German Underground EBM/Industrial-Underground of the early nineties have been really creative – Lots of big bands started their career yelworC, Das Ich, Project Pitchfork, How was it to be young in the nineties in Finland? What are your memories of being Undergroundmusician in that era?
Jana: Mostly fun I’d say. And not too crowded. We were pretty much the only ones making this kind of music for quite some time. The scene was not exactly massive but I think we had our fair share of friends in related genres too, from goths to techno and acid house fans and the like. Local music media was not always too kind. They tended to say that bluesy rock bands were somehow “authentic” whereas we were not. But our home was an industrial town in a dark and cold Nordic country – how much more authentic could we have been? By mid-90s there were already more bands emerging, quite a few of them run by friends and old bandmates.
Did you ever play live outside your country? On festivals? Think most of your fans are located in Scandinavia. The area, where people go crazy for synthies anyway.
Jana: We made a couple of visits to Sweden and played some half a dozen gigs there but that’s as far as we got. The world was a bit bigger before the internet.
- Crazy! You have been featured on MTV Europe. Strange world – How come?
Jana: I’d like to tell you a better story for this but it’s simply that we made videos and just sent them to MTV. Not that we really expected them to show them. So it was a happy surprise to see our stuff played by Paul King on 120 Minutes which was the show to watch back then. At least the videos for “From nothing to nothing” and “Wake up” made it to MTV.
You once mentioned Stray Cats (????) and Depeche Mode as big influences … Are you still Depeche Mode-Fans in 2015?
Jana: Well, myself and Pete originally met Vince through a mutual friend to swap some rare DM 12”s so we couldn’t really leave them out of our list, can we? They shouldn’t have let Alan Wilder go, though, it hasn’t been quite the same without him. In our early days there were not too many artists that we all liked: DM, Kraftwerk, Psyche, Clan of Xymox, John Foxx… and yes, Stray Cats. Of course we made a point of mentioning them every time, he he.
“Depeche Mode”: Did you ever think about what could be if y o u were big Popstars now?
Jana: Not really. We never aimed to be big. But thanks for asking.